Damien Hirst’s Carnival Nightmare and the Elevation of the London Artworld

This is a look at the media circus and rise of the London artworld over the past two decades, from unknown soldier who looked on at Cologne and New York, to becoming the Western World’s hottest new center for the exhibition of contemporary art. As an artist and writer who myself is based in Los Angeles, who studied with Mike Kelley, I and my artist friends watched on as London shot up world-class exhibitions one after another, that were covered in a multitude of art world media in the US, but dwarfed by the international press and the incredible media machine in London. In many ways the rise of London parallels that of the LA art scene that I am a part of, yet it is clear to me that London has massive advantages, from being a global financial and media center, to having a full array of historic institutions, to being but a couple of hours away from Paris should one need to dive down into Modern Art art history to its core. In LA we were astounded by the opening of the Tate Modern, and saw it as a clear and yet responsible act of nationalism on the part of the British, who finally after critiquing the Paris artworld for centuries, had one of its own that could be easily seen as the most dynamic in the world. The rise of the YBA’s through outrageous acts of artmaking and blasphemous use of non art materials from feces to dead animals split into and showcased in the Cologne Artworld style vitrines, shook up the British Art Establishment like nothing before; at once Conceptual Art and fabricated sculptures opened the door to contemporary art history. Yet despite losing its mind over what appears to be nightmarish visions akin to the great literary tales told by the British Empire’s greatest writers, London did also find a way to continue to offer respect to painting. At once realizing that the capacity to sculpturally fabricate a nightmarish fantasy in three dimensions the way Hollywood does with dead bodies in its current films, or to take objects such as a well used bed directly from life and place it into an institutional framework, is what has set off a firestorm in the London art scene over the past two decades. Just today (April 23, 2012) the Tate Modern, which has had over 50 million visitors since it opened in 2000, announced its program for the world’s first live performance space in a major art institution. Having been to London just a few months ago to see the Gerhard Richter retrospective and the warehouse sized White Cube Bermondsey space, it is clear to me that London is the most dynamic combination art market/art scene in the Western world at this hour. Public galleries such as the Serpentine and Whitechapel are committed to major new expansions. The Saatchi Collection space is phenomenal – and every show it does receives ten times the press of the few similar venues in the US. I still recall how incensed the British painters were in the mid 1990’s when Conceptual Art opened up the world to British cultural and artistic ideas in the way that no other British art had ever done. (This also happened in Chicago over the past two decades, when it moved from ignoring New York and such events as Documenta and the Venice Bieniale, to completely embracing Critical Theory while continuing to Paint. No one with the gifts of an representational painter should surrender those gifts to Conceptual Art ideas, but use the philosophical assets in Critical Theory to think through whatever art form is pursued. There is the realization that in order for Chicago to be more like London, it needs a world-class art event, a world-class Kunsthalle, and more. All of these are on the table now there and I wish it all to come true soon – as it will help American artists for us to have a third dynamic year round artworld center beyond New York and Los Angeles. But this post really is all about London’s art scene, and my personal embrace of it after having gotten to experience it directly and first hand over the last year.

Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles
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Vincent Johnson, Civil Air Defense Project #1, LAXART, Los Angeles
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Damien Hirst’s Carnival Nightmare and the Elevation of the London Artworld

“A child looks at a mountain and sees a mountain; a man looks at a mountain and sees many things; a wise man looks at a mountain and sees a mountain.” – Buddhist Proverb “In July 1988, somewhere around the release of Crocodile Dundee and the launch of Prozac, an art show was staged in London’s Docklands that has entered modern art history as a cataclysmic happening on a par with the Cabaret Voltaire and the Salon des Refusés (the exhibition held in 1863 for works that had been rejected from the official Paris Salon, including Manet’s Déjeuner Sur l’Herbe). Organised mainly by Damien Hirst with support from Carl Freedman (now a gallerist and curator), the artist Abigail Lane and the late Angus Fairhurst, Freeze was, Hirst has said, ‘the kind of exhibition that everybody says they saw and hardly anybody did’. (Jessica Berens, The Observer, London, May 31, 2008)“The radical anti-establishment character of Y.B.A.’s art seemed to grow with the rise of Tony Blair and his New Labor in the 1990s, culminating in the 1997 exhibition “Sensation.”

Damien Hirst, Back Sheep with Horns (Divided) 2009

Damien Hirst, The Black Sheep with Golden Horns (Divided), 2009, (detail view Such works as Mr. Hirst’s infamous stuffed shark floating in formaldehyde and Tracey Emin’s tent “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With” replaced stodgy historical pastoral landscapes as representative of British art. (Gray Matter NYTimes Sunday Review, Where Do Bohemians Come From?, By ELIZABETH CURRID-HALKETT, October 15, 2011 https://i0.wp.com/farm3.static.flickr.com/2237/1734092552_d3b0e140d6.jpg Damien Hirst’s “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Something Living.” Regarding Charles Saatchi, perhaps the most powerful collector in Europe, Michael Kimmelman wrote in the Aprol 29, 2003 NYTimes His taste for cocksure spectacle and outlandishness defined market-happy British art in the 1990’s.”

LONDON, Nov. 26— Charles Saatchi, the advertising magnate who is one of Britain’s largest contemporary-art collectors, has sold the bulk of his collection of works by the British artist Damien Hirst back to the artist and to his dealer, Jay Jopling.” (Carol Vogel, NYTimes) By owning his key early work, Mr. Hirst will be able to control his own market.” Shark M by Damien Hirst The use of live and dead animals in art has a history, and the history begins in Surrealism. Go back to 1938, when Salvador Dali made ”Rainy Taxi” for the lobby of the International Exposition of Surrealism at the Galerie Beaux-Arts. Inside the car were two mannequins, one covered with live snails from Burgundy that fed on nearby lettuce and vines watered by rain falling from the ceiling….Twenty years later, larger fauna came into the picture. There was Robert Rauschenberg’s angora goat encircled by a tire (”Monogram,” 1955-59). Hermann Nitsch disemboweled and tore apart a dead lamb in Germany in 1962 (”The Orgies Mysteries Theater”)….In Germany in 1965, Joseph Beuys lectured earnestly to a dead hare (”How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare”). A decade later he came to America and caged himself for a week with a live coyote (”Coyote: I Like America and America Likes Me,” 1974). In 1969, Jannis Kounellis tethered 12 live horses to the wall of a gallery in Rome (”Horses”). A few years later, Annette Messager was outfitting dead sparrows with small wool sweaters — pink, yellow and blue — that she had knitted herself (”Boarders at Rest,” 1972).(Sarah Boxer, NYTimes, June 24, 2000

Damien Hirst and his diamond encrusted sculpture entitled ‘For the Love of God’ (2007)

Jackie Wullschlager wrote about Damien Hirst’s retrospective in the Financial Times London: “In every generation, one or two artists attain a celebrity so intense that it blinds us to serious assessment of their work. During the 1990’s, Damien Hirs became the most famous artist in British history, yet also a mysterious one, whose iconic pieces – the shark the rotting cow’s head – appeared to come from nowhere, impinging on the collective consciousness in a way that had nothing to do with museum endorsements or gallery career-building.” Financial Times London, April 6, 2012

“There were two changes in terms of media in the 1990s. First the papers appointed arts correspondents, leading to much wider coverage of the arts. Second, broadsheets expanded their coverage of the arts on Saturdays so there were many more preview articles.” Nicholas Serota, thelondonmagazine.co.uk

Jake and Dinos Chapman’s carnival of hell:

Jake and Dino Chapman's Fucking Hell

An installation by artists Jake and Dinos Chapman, entitled ‘Fucking Hell’, is seen during the inauguration of their new exhibition ‘If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be’. Photograph: Alessia Pierdomenico/Reuters (Guardian, London)

“F**king Hell”: Jake and Dino Chapmen’s “Hell” rises from the ashes

By , Mar 30, 2009

Richard Metzger is the current Boing Boing guest blogger. Due to a fire in 2000 that destroyed key works of Charles Saatchi’s art collection, Brit Art bad boys, Jake and Dinos Chapman’s elaborate sculpture “Hell” was lost. Remade on a commission from Louis Vuitton owner Francois Pinault, “Hell” has risen from the ashes as “Fucking Hell” an even fiercer piece. “The idea of a world without ‘Hell’ was unacceptable to us,” says Jake.” (Boing Boing blog)fuckinghellaoooooooppppppp.jpg

“Fucking Hell” — Jake and Dinos Chapman website featuring an incredible short film documenting the piece. “Hell” is first great work of the 21st centuryHitler gets Chapman treatment as “Hell” rises from the ashes If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be

‘Fucking Hell’

Jake and Dinos Chapman, Zygotic acceleration, biogenetic, de-sublimated libidinal model 1995
Jake and Dinos Chapman, detail from sex 2003
Jake and Dinos Chapman Detail from Sex I 2003
Jake and Dinos Chapman
Detail from Sex I 2003
Painted bronze
2460 x 2440 x 1250 mm

Photo: Stephen White
“Jake and Dinos Chapman obsessively return to Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes’ gore-filled The Disasters of War series. Jake himself describes their studio floor debris as, ‘a sediment of Goya pictures.’ Christopher Turner surveys the brothers’ “rectification” of the great Spaniard’s work and how they have overwhelmed even Goya’s original with their own distinctive brand of pornographic Surrealism.“(Tate magazine)

Zygotic Acceleration, Biogenetic, De-Sublimated Libidinal Model 1995 Fibreglass 150 x 180 x 140 cm
Great Deeds Against the Dead 1994 Mixed media with plinth 277 x 244 x 152 cm
Fuck Face 1994 Fibreglass, resin, paint, fabric, wig and trainers 103 x 56 x 25cm
Two Faced Cunt 1995 Fibreglass, resin and paint 103 x 56 x 25 cm

A sculpture featuring a rotting cow skull and live flies by Damien Hirst —— — Jake and Dino Chapman’s carnival of horrors: The Chapman brothers, “Jake or Dinos Chapman“, simultaneously @ Hoxton Square and Mason’s Yard – the 2 locations of the White Cube gallery. artwork: Jake (R) and Dinos Chapman pose for photographs with part of their new exhibiton at the White Cube Gallery in central London July 14th. - Reuters “LONDON.- White Cube presents a new exhibition by Jake and Dinos Chapman. Jake and Dinos Chapman began their artistic collaboration after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1990 when they created We are Artists. Since this self-defining anti-aesthetic manifesto was first stencilled onto a mud-splattered wall at the ICA London in 1992 they have developed their own shared discourse as ‘sore-eyed scopophiliac oxymorons’ with, as they put it at the time, ‘a benevolent contingency of conceits’. “

artwork: Part of the new exhibition by Jake and Dinos Chapman at the White Cube Gallery in central London July 14th. - Photo : Reuters /Paul Hackett.

Chess Set by Jake & Dinos Chapman

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British artists Jake and Dinos Chapman (Jake born 1966; Dinos born 1962) started working together in the early 1990s and have become one of the leading art partnerships in the contemporary British art world. Their first body of work was based on a variety of sculptural interpretations of Goya’s The Disasters of War, which they fashioned from toy soldiers and mutated mannequin parts. In 2000 they produced Hell, a giant 1:32 scale reinterpretation of mass genocide and later completed a series of works that combine faux African sculpture with McDonald’s inspired iconography. The Brothers have also exhibited an original edition of Goya’s The Disasters of War, over-painted by the artists with clown heads. For their RS&A chess set commission, the Chapman Brothers chose to create a game played by postapocalyptic adolescents, the one side white with Arian haircuts and the other side black with Afro hair. The set is displayed in its own handcrafted games box, the board inlaid with white and black double-headed skull and crossbones.sweet-station.com/blog/2012/01/chess-set-by-jake-dinos-chapman/
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Sarah Lucas
  • image The Surreal House, Sarah Lucas, Au Naturel, 1994

    Sarah Lucas, New Religion (violet), 2001; neon; 15 x 21 x 71 ¼ inches

    SL076_m »Concrete Boots«, 2005 by Sarah Lucas.

    Pepsi and Cocky, 2008; chair, kapok, wire, nylon pantyhose, fabric; 40 x 26 x 28 inches

    Freeze (1998, Bermondsey, South London)
    Freeze opening party August 1988

    Freeze opening party 1988 : left to right ; Ian Davenport, Damien Hirst, Angela Bulloch, Fiona Rae, Stephen Park, Anya Gallaccio, Sarah Lucas, Gary Hume

    From Wikipedia: A show of work by Angus Fairhurst in February 1988 was the precursor to Freeze.[3]Fairhurst, along with other students from Goldsmiths College of Art, were instrumental in organizing Freeze.[1] It was there that the work of the Young British Artists caught the attention of the collector Charles Saatchi.[2] The catalogue for Freeze was designed by Tony Arefin and included an essay by art critic Ian Jeffrey and was by the property developers Olympia and York. The title of the show came from the catalogue’s description of Mat Collishaw’s macro photograph Bullet Hole which showed a gunshot wound to a human head (taken from a pathology textbook). The exhibition was sponsored by the London Docklands Development Corporation and Olympia and York.

    The success inspired a second exhibition several months later, Freeze 2, featuring some artists from the first exhibition and some new faces from other London art schools. There was one contemporary review of the exhibition by Sacha Craddock. The BBC filmed the exhibition and interviewed some contributors and was later aired.

    Two younger artists turned down the chance to be in the exhibition. Dominic Denis was listed in catalogue but did not show work. The 16 students who did exhibit at Freeze were:

    File:Dock Offices, Surrey Docks (2) - geograph.org.uk - 612517.jpg

Damien Hirst

Gary Hume: Door Paintings

Hume’s first Door Paintings were initially shown at the Freeze exhibition in 1988
Gary Hume Dolphin V, 1991
Gloss paint on MDF

  • door paintings


    ‘Door paintings’ is a collection of around 50 paintings, 18 of which have been carefully selected for the Oxford show. The paintings represent the institutional double-hinged swing-doors of hospitals and have been painted on a large scale – using household gloss paint.
    At the same time as being captivating to look at, the paintings also have an eerie feeling to them, with subtle suggestions of exits and death – the positioning of the porthole windows and kick-plates resembling human skulls.
    Humes’ first pieces were painted onto canvas, but as his style starts to progress you can see where he has switched to large sheets of MDF and aluminium to get a much ‘smoother’ finish. The early pieces he produced around the time of the Freeze exhibition back in 1988 were impressive, but I found that those that caught my eye the most were his later pieces, with their highly reflective surfaces and much more radiant tones
    http://thischicken.blogspot.com/2008/08/gary-hume-at-modern-art-oxford.html

    Angela Bullock

    Angela Bulloch, Flexible at Art Club Berlin, 1997. Three beanbags, CD-Player, headphones, acrylic table.

    Angela Bulloch, Flexible at Art Club Berlin, 1997. Three beanbags, CD-Player, headphones, acrylic table.

Angela Bullock Z Point 2001
Angela Bullock at Ester Shipper
Angela Bullock at Ester Shippe (2008)

ANGELA BULLOCH – DISCRETE MANIFOLD WHATSOEVER Installation view Simon Lee Gallery, London, 2010 Image © Angela Bulloch, Courtesy Simon Lee Gallery, London
Lights

Angela Bullock exhibition (photo: Tania blogs)
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East Country Yard Show was an exhibition of contemporary art organized by Henry Bond and Sarah Lucas. It was on view between 31 May—22 June 1990.[1] The exhibition was a “seminal”[2] London group show which was significant in the subsequent development of theYoung British Artists.[3] The show was presented in a large empty warehouse, the East Country Yard building, in South Dock, Rotherhithe within the 460-acre (1.9 km2) Surrey Commercial Docks complex. Keith Patrick said,

[Following Freeze] many of the same artists showed again two years later in four artist-led exhibitions Modern Medicine, Gambler, the East Country Yard Show and Market … although Freeze had been poorly attended and barely reviewed, these shows together became a symbol of a new artist-led entrepreneurship, a combination of calculated anarchy and an astute reading of the changing relationship of the artist to the market.[10] (Wikipedia)

Modern Medicine was the title of a group exhibition of contemporary art on display in “Building One”—one of the buildings comprising the former Peek Frean biscuit factory—in Bermondsey, London, in 1990. The exhibition was organized or “curated” by Billee Sellman, Damien Hirst and Carl Freedman. The exhibition included the first showing of Damien Hirst’s sculpture “One Thousand Years.”

  • Mat Collishaw
  • Grainne Cullen
  • Dominic Denis
  • Angus Fairhurst
  • Damien Hirst
  • Abigail Lane
  • Miriam Lloyd
  • Craig Wood
  • Cover of Brilliant! art exhibition cat. edited by Neville Wakefield (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center, 1995).

    Sensation (1997, London)

    Sophie Hicks - Exhibition Design: “Sensation: Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection”
    Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
    September to December 1997

    The definitive and controversial exhibition which established the group known as the YBA’s (Young British Artists) and made artists such as Damien Hirst, the Chapman Brothers and Tracy Emin household names. Our involvement was to design a setting for the art. We chose to provide a background which would give minimal interference and maximum contrast to the artworks. The main galleries of the Royal Academy were stripped of any recent architectural additions and returned to their original state. Lowered ceilings were removed to reveal the gilt cornices, and natural light from the skylights was used, boosted only with electric light. Signage was deliberately basic. The result was that the show did not look as if it had been designed, which was the point.

    DAMIEN HIRST, GAVIN TURK, Sensation. Young British Artists from the Saatchi Collection, 1997 Courtesy Saatchi Gallery London

Mat Collishaw’s Bullet Hole – a cibachrome on a lightbox which showed a head being fractured by a bullet – was to become one of the seminal images of the Young British Artist movement. It also gave the name to the show (according to the catalogue, ‘the title comes from Mat Collishaw’s lightbox, dedicated to a moment of impact, a preserved now, a freeze frame’). Collishaw recalls that a dealer offered him less for Bullet Hole than it cost to make. ‘I said I’d rather let it rot in the car park – which is exactly what it did. Saatchi bought a remake 10 years later.’

“Brilliant advertising man that he is, Mr. Saatchi has also been especially adept at promoting the artists he collects. The show ”Sensation: Young British Artists From the Saatchi Collection” drew crowds when it first opened at the Royal Academy of Art here in 1997. It then traveled to the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin and finally to the Brooklyn Museum of Art, where Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani called the exhibition ”sick stuff” and threatened to cut off city subsidies because of Chris Ofili’s painting of the Virgin Mary that included elephant dung.”(Carol Vogel, NYTimes, November 27, 2003)

“Self” (ongoing project) by Mark Quinn
“Self” is a frozen sculpture of the artist’s head made from 4.5 litres of his own blood, taken from his body over a period of 5 months. In interview in 2000, reflecting on the iconic artwork, he remarked, “Well, I think it’s a great sculpture. I’m really happy with it. I think it is inevitable that you have one piece people focus in on. But that’s really good because it gets people into the work.”
Described by Quinn as a ‘frozen moment on lifesupport’, the work is carefully maintained in a refrigeration unit, reminding the viewer of the fragility of existence. The artist makes a new version of Self every five years, each of which documents Quinn’s own physical transformation and deterioration. Self, like many other pieces by the YBAs, was bought by Charles Saatchi (in 1991 for a reputed £13,000). Despite reports that the piece had melted[1

“Damien Hirst replaced Jeff Koons who replaced Julian Schnabel, as the lad most likely to be guest of honour at all the best cocktail parties.” HIRST: A lot of people think all artists should hang out together and really love each other and all that, but if you sit down with an artist and they go, “oh, my work’s about the way society’s congenitally deformed …” I just want to go, oh fuck off, get the beers in. Artists are like everybody else. HIRST: Yeah, but it gets quite complicated because I guess it all boils down to an urge to live forever. The goal in life is to be solid, whereas the way that life works is totally fluid, so you can never actually achieve that goal. HIRST: I think you need someone like that. I have that with Jay [Jopling, Hirst’s dealer]. George Martin said he didn’t really know anything about pop music and just let them get on with it. That’s what Jay does with me. He’ll call me five times if I have a crazy idea and say: are you sure, are you sure. If I say yes, I am, in the end I just do it, even if it costs a lot of money. Like when I was doing the cow cut in half in Venice last year, it cost ��50,000. He called me up for three months beforehand, saying you’ve got to do something great. I said, OK, I’ve got this idea, Cow. He worked it out, it was ��50,000 and in the end we did it. He was so freaked out because it cost so much money. Jay said once, hey, why don’t you do one of those sculptures like you did before, the great ones? I was going, which ones? The one with the cigarettes, the one with the lamb? And I pinned him down, and in the end he said the ones that cost fuck-all to make and we can sell for loads of money. On one level, that’s Jay’s perfect idea for a sculpture.

Tracey Emin, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995 (1995)

Tracy Emin/ My Bed

“The French painter Nicolas Poussin complained of his contemporary Caravaggio, “This man has come to murder art!” He meant that Caravaggio’s paintings refused to sublimate the undigested stuff of life, that they did not ennoble it. My own problem with Emin has been similar. A magician such as Damien Hirst or Joseph Beuys makes everything symbolic. Emin’s readymades, on the other hand, remain flat, unredeemed; she transfigures nothing. But in many ways Emin’s achievement is the same as Caravaggio’s: she rubs our noses in reality, in a way that subverts all our illusions, fantasies, snobberies and repressions, those barriers we put up between us and death….By lucky chance I saw Rauschenberg’s Bed again in New York a few weeks ago. In fact, the comparison helped me understand Emin’s originality. Rauschenberg’s bed is splattered with paint and has Twombly-like pencil scrawls on it (possibly done by Twombly). It hangs on the wall. In other words, Rauschenberg makes it quite clear that a transformation has taken place. Emin’s bed, by contrast, has no aesthetic additions – no drawings or smears of paint. It is just there, a messy fact, and a decade on, refuses to be anything else. It now looks like one of the truly great readymades.” (Jonathan Jones, The Guardian, London)

Tracy Emin/ My Bed

The Art of Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin, Love is What You Want
Tracey Emin, Exorcism of the Last Painting I Ever Made (detail)

Rachel Whiteread

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Black Bed) 1991.
“After Shallow Breath (1988) in 1991 the artist returned to making casts of old mattresses or of the spaces under beds, whose anthropomorphic significance she explored (in harmony with the work of Francis Bacon, Robert Rauschemberg and Jannis Kounellis) by replacing plaster with rubber or other malleable and sensuous materials such as fibreglass or dental plaster, capable not only of preserving the physical traces left by the human body but of evoking its colour and consistency.” Museum Madre, Naples

Rachel Whiteread. Water Tower. 1998

Rachel Whiteread, Watertower

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Rachel Whiteread installation, Tate Modern

Rachel WhitereadUntitled (Book Corridors) (1997-1998)plaster, polystyrene, steelRachel Whiteread has made a career out of filling in negative space. Many of her projects involve complex castings of forgotten or ignored expanses including the spaces under chairs and bed frames, library bookshelves, stairwells, and occasionally whole rooms and abandoned houses. These spaces become weirdly alien when they become objects occupying space of their own.

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“Ghost , Whiteread’s best-known work, takes the form of a negative plaster cast of the space of an entire room in a London Victorian townhouse. It measures approximately nine feet wide, 11 1/2 feet high, and ten feet deep. Over the course of a three-month period, Whiteread cast the walls of the room in square sections that were based on compositional proportions derived from paintings by Italian Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca (1410/20–1492). The result is a spectral monument: a structure composed from a void in which the architectural elements defining and articulating that space–windows, doors, fireplace, tile grids, molding, light switch–appear in reverse. Ghost engages multiple complex themes: the history of memorial architecture and symbolic space, the history and temporal implications of plaster as a medium that preserves or “freezes” an original, and the unexpected emotional potential of a minimal form.” (National Gallery, Washington D.C.)
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Rachel Whiteread is enjoying a well deserved solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The show opened to a sold out lecture by the artist.”
Rachel Whiteread - Place (Village)
“The highlight of the exhibit is the installation above, “Place (Village)”. The piece is a collection of approximately two hundred vintage doll houses assembled on a mock hillside. Whiteread has been collecting these miniature dwellings for the past twenty years. Each house is empty and lit from within making for an eerie scene in the darkened gallery. It’s the first time that this work has been seen in the United States. “Place (Village)” ties in well with the holiday season and offers an excellent opportunity to introduce children to the delights of an art museum.”
Rachel Whiteread - Study for Village 1st
Rachel Whiteread - Circle
“Rachel Whiteread’s installation, “Place (Village)”. The piece is a collection of approximately two hundred vintage doll houses assembled on a mock hillside. Whiteread has been collecting these miniature dwellings for the past twenty years.” E rachel1.jpg
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Chris Ofili
(left) Four Plus One More 1998 Mixed media on canvas 182.8 x 121.9 cm 72 x 48″ (middle) Untitled 1998 Mixed media on canvas 190.5 x 120 cm 75 x 47¼” (right) Blind Popcorn 1996 Oil paint, paper collage, glit ter, polyester resin, map pins and elephant dung on linen 182.9 x 121.9 cm 72 x 48″
The Holy Virgin Mary, 1996, © Chris Ofili Courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery, London Though incessantly accused of being blasphemous, the painting The Holy Virgin Mary seems more appropriately related to the Early Modern visual language for portraying the Virgin as a woman both fertile and humble in Madonna Lactans andVirgin of Humility. Equally it exists within Yoruba tradition of representing female divinities with pointed breasts and open vaginas. What-is-more, the purportedly “obscene” collage of vaginas lifted from pornographic magazines can ostensibly be compared with the vulva triangle featured so prolifically in prehistoric cave paintings. The character of the African goddess is repeated throughout the exhibition; the central concern of such depictions being both beauty and pleasure, and moreover, the stereotypical sexualisation and exocistism of the black female. From Foxy Roxy in the earlier galleries to the Afromuses, a series of fictional gendered portraits portraying women with radiant, jewel-like lips, the black features are exaggerated to the level of parody. *Art Observed”

A woman views a painting by artist Chris Ofili entitled 'Afro Sunrise' exhibited in the Tate Britain gallery on January 25, 2010 in London, England. The most comprehensive exhibition of Chris Ofili's work to date, featuring over 40 paintings as well as pencil drawings and watercolours, is to go on display at the Tate Britain from January 27, 2010.
Christ Ofili – Afr0 Sunshine

A man views paintings by artist Chris Ofili entitled 'Ritual And Resistance (Desire)' (right) and 'Habio Green Locks' in the Tate Britain gallery on January 25, 2010 in London, England. The most comprehensive exhibition of Chris Ofili's work to date, featuring over 40 paintings as well as pencil drawings and watercolours, is to go on display at the Tate Britain from January 27, 2010.“A man views paintings by artist Chris Ofili entitled ‘Ritual And Resistance (Desire)’ (right) and ‘Habio Green Locks’ in the Tate Britain gallery on January 25, 2010 in London, England.

Visitors view paintings by artist Chris Ofili entitled 'The Adoration Of Captain Shit And The Legend Of The Black Stars' (right) and 'Afrodizzia (Second Version)' in the Tate Britain gallery on January 25, 2010 in London, England. The most comprehensive exhibition of Chris Ofili's work to date, featuring over 40 paintings as well as pencil drawings and watercolours, is to go on display at the Tate Britain from January 27, 2010.
Visitors view paintings by artist Chris Ofili entitled ‘The Adoration Of Captain Shit And The Legend Of The Black Stars’ (right) and ‘Afrodizzia (Second Version)’

A woman views a painting by artist Chris Ofili entitled 'Death & The Roses' exhibited in the Tate Britain gallery on January 25, 2010 in London, England. The most comprehensive exhibition of Chris Ofili's work to date, featuring over 40 paintings as well as pencil drawings and watercolours, is to go on display at the Tate Britain from January 27, 2010.

Chris Ofili, ‘Death & The Rose “Born in 1968 in Manchester, England, to Nigerian parents, Chris Ofili graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 1993. His distinctive and intensely colorful visual style unites the worlds of kitsch, hip-hop music, decorative art, Pop Art, blaxploitation films, the London Zoo, and the Zimbabwe plains. He counts American artist David Hammons, also represented in the Walker collection, among his major influences, but his work has been linked to sources as diverse as William Blake, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Judy Chicago, Andy Warhol, West African textiles, Matopos cave paintings, and the visual culture of psychedelia.” (Walker Art Center) –

Tim Noble & Sue Webster, ‘Metal Fucking Rats’ (version 1), 2006, 51.5 x 53 x 19.6 cm, Welded scrap metal, projector, Courtesy: the artists & Gagosian Gallery, London

Tim Noble & Sue Webster, ‘Metal Fucking Rats’ (version 1), 2006, 51.5 x 53 x 19.6 cm, Welded scrap metal, projector, Courtesy: the artists & Gagosian Gallery, London

Gavin Turk, 'Clay workshop, Venice Biennale' (04/06/09) - photos courtesy of James Putnam

Gavin Turk, ‘Clay workshop, Venice Biennale’ (04/06/09) – photos courtesy of James Putnam

Gavin Turk - 'Clay workshop, Venice Biennale' (04/06/09) - photos courtesy of James Putnam

Gavin Turk – ‘Clay workshop, Venice Biennale’ (04/06/09) – photos courtesy of James Putnam

Gavin Turk - 'Clay workshop, Venice Biennale' (04/06/09) - photos courtesy of James Putnam

Gavin Turk – ‘Clay workshop, Venice Biennale’ (04/06/09) – photos courtesy of James Putnam

Both the 12 year old Tate Modern and year old White Cube Bermondsey are located in South London, just as were the firestarting exhibitions of the late 1980’s London artworld. South London will come full circle when Damien Hirst opens his own private contemporary art museum in South London in 2014.Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles

  • Australian-born, London sculptor, Ron Mueck
  • Lifelike human sculptures by Ron Mueck
    photo

    Youth, by Ron Mueck

    Ron Mueck Exhibition, Victoria 2010

    “This hit home as I was living in London while a lot of youths were stabbing and killing each other.”

Head Sculpture by Ron Mueck

… and emotionally unsettling …

Gigantic, Hyperrealistic Baby Sculpture by Ron Mueck © Gautier Deblonde

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Vincent Johnson is an artist and writer in Los Angeles
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – installation shot – 2
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio shot – 1 (Silver hand)
Vincent Johnson’s California Toilet: Filthy Light Switch (Private collection, Miami, Florida) (2010)
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – installation shot – 1
Beacon Arts Center Los Angeles (2011)
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – installation shot – 2
Beacon Arts Center, Los Angeles (2011)
Motel Tangiers, (San Fernando Valley) by Vincent Johnson (2003)
Parked wreck, Los Angeles (2005) by Vincent Johnson (2002)

Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1986. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. http://vincentjohnsonart.com/

LANYArtiststudio@gmail.com Soviet Space, 2010, by Vincent Johnson (private collection, Los Angeles)
Vincent Johnson – in my studio working on my Nine Grayscale Paintings
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – first stage of grayscale painting
Vincent Johnson’s Nine Grayscale Paintings – studio view of stage one of grayscale paintings drying
Los Angeles based artist and writer Vincent Johnson
http://www.vincentjohnsonart.com
Vincent Johnson received his MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California 1997 and his BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Painting 1986. He started out as a student in Pratt’s painting department. He is a 2005 Creative Capital Grantee, and was nominated for the Baum: An Emerging American Photographer’s Award in 2004 and for the New Museum of Contemporary Arts Aldrich Art Award in 2007 and for the Art Matters grant in 2008, and in 2009 nominated for Foundation for Contemporary Art Fellowship, Los Angeles. In 2010 he was named a United States Artists project artist. He exhibited in the landmark exhibition Freestyle, at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Santa Monica Museum of Art. His work has been reviewed in ArtForum, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, Art in America, Art Slant and many other publications. His photographic works were most recently shown in the inaugural Pulse Fair Los Angeles. His most recent paintings were shown at the Beacon Arts Center in Los Angeles.
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